Monday, September 24, 2012

John Shillito Medal

When the CWS celebrated its Golden Jubilee, that's 50 years from 1863 to 1913, it issued a medal which is featured here.

It's a relief portrait of John Shillito who was the President of the Co-operative Wholesale Society from 1895 to 1915. It was distributed to each delegate at the CWS shareholders’ meetings in 1913(there would be over 3,000 attending them) and to each of the 21,000 employees of the CWS. There was additional distribution to officials in the retail co-operative societies, so that the total number distributed in 1913 would be around 25,000. The medal is gold colour on bronze and weighs about 19 grams.

On the reverse side there is the logo of the CWS, a wheatsheaf flanked by a t-handle spade and a sickle. The motto is "Labor and Wait". Note the American spelling. There is a story about this logo and motto, and I need to find out more.

At the same time a large casket was issued which featured on it leading figures in the co-operative movement and illustrations of CWS premises. In the casket were samples of a range of CWS products.

John Sillito from Halifax, was then the grand old man of co-operation, he would be 81. When in his 70's he presided at the Co-op Congress at the Corn Exchange, Doncaster in 1903. He also entertained Captain Scott prior to his Antarctic Expedition. Born 19th January 1832. Died 12th February 1915 aged 83. Lived at 4 Park View, Hopwood Lane, Halifax in the year the medal was issued.

You can read about John Sillito's activities in "The Story of the CWS : Jubilee History 1913" it's at - link.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't know how many of the Shilito medals are around now however I have one which belonged to a family member complete with ribbon.

You can email : coop AT with any information that will help in the making of this history.